Post Number: 13627
|Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 5:54 pm: || |
This story came out in the Adventist News Network yesterday. I'd love to hear your reaction...
(Message edited by Colleentinker on April 25, 2012)
Post Number: 7938
|Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 4:07 pm: || |
Well. I don't know whether people will like my reaction to this, but here goes anyway.
These people are talking about some geopolitical environment, some enclave for political religious freedom.
It is my opinion that religious freedom can only reside in the heart and thus we already have a place of religious freedom if we are Christs own.
He talked some about the Catholic persecutions against Christians. As horrible as they were the true born again Christian had religious liberty even while they were being burned at the stake.
They cannot give Christians something that they already have, nor can anyone take that away because God gave it in the first place.
In John 8:36 it states: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
For instance the cultic and heretic nature of Adventist cannot know religious freedom no matter where they go.
I was talking too a prisoner recently who has a life sentence but who had given his life to Christ and here is what he said to me, "My body will always remain in prison, but I will always remain free." That is correct.
It is better to dedicate our time and efforts to bring people freedom in Christ that can endure any geopolitical climate change.
My freedom does not depend on any enclave and personally I think they are blind and cannot see the cruelties this world can unleash on Christians.
Frankly, I think this is the talk of men who are not walking in the Spirit, in fact I don't think they are even saved at all, because if they were, they would know that the only way to freedom is through Christ when he sets us free from all bondage, because when Jesus sets a man free, you cannot imprison him.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 4:42 pm: || |
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 8:14 pm: || |
I have been quietly lurking for a while, but that response by River was too good to ignore.
River, that sounded like a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego moment - surely our God will deliver us, BUT even if He does not, we will not bow down.....
"the Lord is my helper. I shall not fear. What can man do to me?". Heb 13:6
Far too much time is wasted by Adventists worrying about what is happening in the world. You put it much more eloquently than I , River. Well said.
Post Number: 13632
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012 - 5:25 pm: || |
Absolutely. Thank you, River!
Post Number: 1905
|Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012 - 8:39 pm: || |
Amen River ! Is it ok to share the message of your post outside this forum ? It is a message many should hear and dwell on.
Post Number: 9742
|Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 4:17 pm: || |
Post Number: 7954
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 3:10 am: || |
Yeah Skeet, you can repeat what I said, just don't repeat what I do.
Post Number: 617
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 6:43 pm: || |
I totally agree with what River has said
~~ And that said, I TOTALLY STAND IN UNISON WITH OUR PERSECUTED CHRISTIAN BRETHREN WORLDWIDE. ~~
I think our brethren will also agree with you, River, that the only place of freedom -- and the only place where it counts -- is in their unity with Christ. I know that what they desire most from us is our fervent prayers on their behalf, however, I think we would also be amiss to ignore their plight within the geopolitical situation and/or ways that it can possibly be impacted.
I do not support fear-mongering, but I DO believe that it is our right and privilege to support those who support our brethren. I applaud EVERY organization that is supporting the rights of ANY Christians ANYWHERE.
Anyone who watches the news of the persecuted church knows that Catholic worshipers of all various types, Eastern, Coptic etc are frequent targets. Of course it's natural. These are old and large communities of faith.
Evangelicals make up growing communities and are aggressive in evangelizing, which has made them more and more a target of persecution. I do not think that closed countries differentiate between the freedoms of orthodox Christians and more fringe groups or downright cults. I think that in lobbying for religious rights one cannot differentiate, either.
WHAT DO I MAKE OF THE ARTICLE??
It seemed to me this fellow was walking on eggshells, that there was something that he was trying desperately NOT to say. I was particularly struck by the ending paragraphs...
****Times may be changing. Voices that have historically been muted when it comes to the rights of religious minorities may indeed be preparing to become active religious freedom advocates.
Only time will tell if the Observatory on Religious Freedom will push Rome forward as an international "religious freedom capital." And only time will tell if Rome intends to champion a broad notion of religious freedom, which reflects the ideal articulated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.****
The article contains the requisite SDA arrogance and bluster, but where on earth did this ending come from? Given what they "KNOW" about Rome in the end times, how can this fellow even say these words?
The tagline says "John Graz is Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association, a non-sectarian organization, which was established in 1893."
Is the article just "reporting" the statement of a non-SDA organization without comment? Actually, there was sufficient tongue-in-cheek earlier in the piece that I fully expected a different ending.
Post Number: 7958
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 9:33 pm: || |
I've no doubt that Rome would like to be the center of the universe, its always wanted that.
Having been a soldier and having 'stood on the wall, so to speak, it was for all Americans, mom, dad and apple pie and all that. Having kept up with the political clime since then I am concerned about freedom. In fact I think this country is losing its freedom little by little.
I see where the line is being drawn in the sand between evil and good, as an ex soldier, if we ever stop being a soldier once having served, I am very concerned for those Christians in closed country's.
During the civil war an army was hiding in the tree line before marching across an open field. The cannon fire was horrendous, A general sat his horse in an open space and said to his men, "Men, there is no safe place here."
That is what I am saying today, there is no safe place here and if Christians everywhere can realize that we’d be better off, but instead we stop and instead of an overnight temporary camp, we build, when our home is not here, its with Jesus.
Basically we are nothing more than squatters as far as this world is concerned. The minute you became born again, you became a foreigner in this world.
I just find nothing in the Bible where we are to build an enclave, but rather from what Jesus said, if we have any kind of peace we are blessed.
Read Matthew 24:4-14 for the answer, he said to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
There is no safe place here, things are growing worse and worse and the devil is getting braver and Christians are being killed.
I have no qualms about people who speak out for freedom from persecution, but there won’t be a safe place in Rome neither I’ll bet you.
I had an old sergeant in the Army and his favorite line was, “Quit milling around like a bunch of sheep, spread out!”
Far as I’m concerned that’s all they are doing over there, just milling around like a bunch of sheep. IMHO of course, you got an opinion, I got an opinion, opinions are like donkey doo, they are all over the place.
Post Number: 7959
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 9:36 pm: || |
Oh and one more thing, if you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you are sealed in for the boat ride, but someone still has to shovel the doo.
Post Number: 13640
|Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 3:59 pm: || |
Adventism is blurring the borders between itself and a lot of entities we would have expected they would label false religions. They are affirming their similarities and sympathies with Islam and other world religions.
In fact, think about the Faith House Manhattan which was started a few years ago by Samir Selmanovic, an Adventist pastor who moved to New York from the Southern California church Cross Walk where he was a pastor. You can visit the Faith House website here:http://www.faithhousemanhattan.org/
This organization is now a functioning non-profit organization, but it was founded in the mid-2000's in part by funding from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and some from the Emergent Village, an organization of "emergent" Christian churches. Selmanovic, who had a Muslim father, established this organization for monotheists to explore what they have in common re: their understandings of God and to break down the barriers between them. Check out the website.
Selmanovic is now the director of strategy and community engagement for the organization, and if you check out the website, you'll see that the current director has helped establish the proposed liturgy for the same-gender blessing for the Episcopal church. You'll also see that they have recently had a workshop in shamanism, and the blogger who reports on that describes her experience discovering her "power animal" in a visionary experience during a meditation ceremony directed by a shaman drummer.
I say all this because under the historic Adventist push that Ted Wilson has ushered in, there is a deliberate movement within Adventism at the "higher" levels to make alliances with major world religions and to break down the church members' automatic resistance to Islam and other religions.
After the revelation in 2000 that then-GC-president Robert Folkenberg was being sued by his business partner, a fund raiser for one of the Pope's charities who would split profits with Folkenberg, and they would distribute funds to their respective churches from these business deals (often land deals), it comes as no surprise to me that Adventists would perhaps see the Catholic Church as having similar motives and political clout to accomplish mutual goals.
Bottom line: I believe the world is polarizing. Those who desire truth and want to serve God as He reveals Himself to be are finding Him. Others are finding more in common with each other than with those who are born again and one in the Lord Jesus.
Post Number: 7960
|Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 8:11 pm: || |
Yeah Colleen, thats what I meant about a line is being drawn in the sand. Polarizing says it better.
Either way, line in the sand or polarizing, its happening.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 - 9:23 pm: || |
Wow! This topic of the blurring between Adventism and other entities has been on my mind lately. My husband and I have just recently begun noticing this, as we're transitioning out of the church. The new, young associate pastor of our local SDA church has put a HUGE focus on unity, and is currently writing a book on the subject. Interestingly, he gave my husband Selmanovic's book "It's Really All About God" to read in preparation for Selmanovic's visit to our church apparently sometime in May! Out of curiosity, I began reading the book and couldn't even finish the 2nd chapter. I was stunned at some of what was written. There were some ok thoughts, but what jumped out was the untruth...
"If God created all humanity but gave life-giving knowledge - usually referred to as "revelation" - to only some of humanity, could God in any meaningful sense be thought of as the One God and not only as a god? Wouldn't such a god be historically or geographically local and therefore either disinterested, powerless, or in some other way incapable of giving lifesaving knowledge to all humanity? To say that God has decided to visit all humanity through only one particular religion is a deeply unsatisfying assertion about God."
He also goes on to say... "If we choose to interpret our sacred texts and cherished traditions in a way that fosters an image of God who withholds God-self from people outside our religion, would not such a choice make God not only less than divine but also less than human? Shouldn't God at least match our human capacity for justice and compassion?...Either everyone has a real opportunity to find God, and therefore life, or God is not worth worshiping. A view of God who mysteriously withholds God-self from everyone fails the moral sensibilities of the general public and should fail the moral sensibilities of ardent believers. For God to create human beings to die in order to show the consequences of life outside Judaism, Christianity, or Islam is incompatible with the core teachings of Judaism, Chritianity, and Islam. To think of God as favoring any human group would be simply un-Jewish, un-Christian, un-Muslim. A god would take the place of One God. If God is not on the outside of our religions, whatever is inside is meaningless."
When Selmanovic says he thinks it un-God-like to reveal Himself to the world through only one religion, my suspicion, based on the tone of his writing and conclusions, is that he actually means more than "religion." I assert that what he's actually saying is that God shouldn't reveal Himself just through Christianity. I truly believe that God has the power to reach all people, no matter what religion or false belief they're trapped in (we are all witnesses to that), but I think there is a very subtle deceptive message that this man is giving that goes beyond that. I hear him saying that all paths lead to God. If you take this to the end, there is a sort of universalism that is introduced and an assertion that one's particular beliefs are irrelevant, given that God is available to all. Holding to distinct Christian beliefs no longer become important. It's a slippery slope...
He goes on to say that God should at least match our human capacity for justice and compassion and that if He doesn't, He's not worth worshiping!! He asserts that God should at least match our (human) moral sensibilities! WHAT?!?! This is a clear elevation of the human to the level of God. In his view, humans have the power to define he characteristics of God Almighty. When I stumbled upon this I had to read it several times, as I was just sure I was misinterpreting it. Nope. It says just what it says. This idea completely takes away God's sovereignty, cuts Him off at the knees, and elevates man to the position of being able to re-define God, telling God was is just, compassionate and moral (AS IF man has any good in him!). This is just utter heresy to me (and smacks of the underlying SDA/EGW theology that incorrectly defines the nature of sinful man and elevates the power of human behavior in their own salvation).
Also, when he says, "For God to create human beings to die in order to show the consequences of life outside Judaism, Christianity, or Islam is incompatible with the core teachings of Judaism, Chritianity, and Islam," he implies that there is eternal life offered within Judaism and Islam. Again, I'm not suggesting that God does not save people from within those religions, but to corporately say, as Christians, that we need to partner with other religions in acceptance of them as they are, with their blatant rejection of Jesus, through whom salvation is available, is just, well... heresy. IMHO... ;)
I guess Selmanovic doesn't care for Romans 9 and feels at liberty to redefine Scripture. "For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'" (Verse 15) "But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory..." (Verses 20-23)
Is. 45:11 says, "This is what the Lord says - the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?"
God is sovereign. His ways are mysterious.
I also spent a long time on the Faith House website and read the description of the shaman ceremony. By the way, Selmanovic was present at that ceremony, which would suggest he condones it. It was a spiritual ceremony, all right. Just the wrong spirit!
Selmanovic uses a lot of very "new age" terminology like "God-self" and "spiritual path" and describes things in a very esoteric, non-specific, sometimes ambiguous way. Seems intentionally confusing.
(I also recently listened to Dwight Nelson's sermon, "Star Still Rising Over Islam," which was utterly appaling.)
So, apparently Selmanovic is making his speaking rounds in our area. Unbelievable. Last week, the associate pastor here spoke a lot about unity, saying things like, "We are called to be reconciled to Christ as one." True... but, exactly how does an SDA do that? "The mystery of God is the unity of all believers, completed right before the end." Again, how exactly does this look in Adventism? It's really not possible if one stays true to SDA doctrine... unless the goal is to CONVERT all other believers to unity with the SDA church! Hmmmm... sounds familiar. "Surrender to the cause of Christ, no matter what the cost or loss." What exactly is the cost or loss for an SDA?
I never thought I'd see this sort of thing happen within Adventism, but then, again, I believed until only a few months ago that it was a Christian religion. While Adventists are waiting for the Sunday Laws, they are being led down he sinister primrose path of joining hands with various anti-christs... So scary and so sad.
I agree... the world is polarizing and God is calling out His people.
Post Number: 709
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 1:25 pm: || |
Interesting. Just on the idea of elevating man to God's level...
I was at a pastors' prayer meeting last week, and someone just mentioned the idea of the last days being "like the days of Noah" as in Matthew 24:17, and it would be good to consider what that might mean. This was not our main topic, but it got me thinking.
OK, there is the aspect of people just going about their everyday lives and then being surprised by the flood coming, but is there anything else to it?
What I came up with, was the idea of man being elevated to the level of being god or like god. For the following reasons:
This was Satan's first lie in the garden of Eden: you will be like God (Genesis 3:5)
Then there is the passage in Genesis 6:1-4 about the sons of God, which seems to describe the period just before the flood. I know there are several interpretations, but I think the most likely is that these were "divine kings", i.e. rulers of kingdoms (human beings) who demanded their subjects worshipped them as gods. We know that this certainly happened in great civilisations arising in the early period after the flood, like Sumeria and Egypt. It is also just as old as the other theories, from about the second century.
(I have discussed the other theories on my blog, if anyone is interested:
And finally, in the last days the antichrist will enter the temple of god (whatever that means) and claim to be god (e.g. 2 Thess 2).
So the spirit of antichrist which is around in the last days seems to involve the deification of man in some way. We actually see this in humanism, panthesistic thought like Hinduism or New Age philosophy, as well as in Mormonim, and who knows what else in more or less subtle ways.
And maybe it also underlies the idea that if God does not conform to the way I think he ought to be, he is not worth worshipping.
Anyway, just a few thoughts. I think it is wiser to just let God be God, i.e. how he has revealed himself in his word.
Bye for now.
Post Number: 134
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 2:48 pm: || |
Doc, I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a related question for you about Genesis 3:22. I will start a new thread, entitled "Man has become like one of us?"
Post Number: 13645
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 5:13 pm: || |
As always, very interesting insights, Adrian. I hadn't thought about the deification of man as part of the last days' antichrist power, but that totally makes sense. I had thought about Genesis 6 in that context, though, and pondered the Nephilim and the possible close collaboration between demons and men as being part of the last days' "days of Noah" characteristic. So interesting.
Lyrical, YES. I agree with you. Selmanovic knows what he is saying. He is using words common among "new age" believers. Moreover, he is not unique among Adventist leaders in his juxtaposition of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
In 2008 Jon Paulien, currently the dean of the faculty of Religion at LLU, presented a talk at the 150th anniversary celebration of EGW's Great Controversy Vision. The celebration was held over a weekend in the Ohio Conference. Paulien's talk was a lecture with PowerPoint presentation showing how the remnant people of Revelation have characteristics that derive from those three groups: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He showed the specific characteristics that each group contributes. I don't remember them all, but I do remember that Christianity contributes the cross; Judaism contributes the law, and Islam contributes "revelation". He had three qualities representing each one, and he demonstrated their relationship to each other by a drawing of an equilateral triangle and labeling each point one of the three religions.
I do not believe these connections Adventists are making between themselves and Islam, their push to see themselves as part of a larger religious schema, is unique. They are merely doing what a lot of people are doing from various "faith traditions", to use a popular phrase.
I really do believe that there are only two categories of people: those who are in the domain of darkness, and those who are transferred into the kingdom of God's beloved Son (Col. 1:13). As the world rushes into the future, those in the domain of darkness will show more and more affinity for each other. They operate in the same kingdom, and they have their ways of "unifying" and crying "intolerance!" to those who are in the Son's kingdom.
Post Number: 7961
|Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 6:16 pm: || |
Amen Colleen and heres the thing, those of us who base our faith around the gospel of Jesus, the blood atonement must never ever compromise, not ever.
It is our life, our rest and our comfort and Jesus is our salvation, our world revolves around this. If we compromise for unities sake or for any other reason, our reason to live and to exist is gone.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Matthew 10:36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Does this sound like unity? Not to me it don't. I'm not seeking unity with every Tom, Dick and Harry that has a religion or theory about what I should do. I'm not seeking unity with everyone that calls himself a Christian.
I'm not looking to compromise the Gospel for the sake of unity, if God would have wanted me to compromise with the devil he'ed a gave me my own personal demon to chauffeur me around.